The name says it all. It’s incredible and refreshing to find a place where high quality ingredients are either bought locally or even made at the establishment…that’s right, they CURE their own meats. I do not have enough tantalizing words in my vocabulary to do this place justice, but I will try. In the end the pictures will save me some, but you will truly never know unless you go and experience it for yourself!
Jason and I went to see our brothers, both live in Pittsburgh, for a weekend and that is where we discovered this place. With my bro being a chef and having lived in P-burgh for the past nine years, we left it up to him to pick a spot for us to dine at AND boy, oh boy I am glad that we did. To start with this place is in a renovated, old building. The amount of natural light and wood mixed with steel makes the place look fresh, modern and super clean. The staff are amazingly inviting, with no pompous, hipster attitudes like the neighborhood might suggest. To top it off this place is also BYOB – which is crazy for Ohio but apparently more common in PA. So my brother brought us a selection of some of his favorite craft beers and the Sam Adam’s Infinium. It was great to get to drink alcohol at a reasonable rate, which never happens at a nice restaurant.
My brother’s recommendation was that if you can swing it ($60 a person) go for the chef’s tasting! So we all did and it rocked all of our worlds… It was five courses of HEAVEN & enough amazing meat that it should have been enough to last me until the next time I go. Here’s the breakdown:
Course 1: A platter of meats and sides… Whipped Pork Fat on crostinis (BETTER than BUTTER), 3 types of terrines- head cheese, duck and beef, duck spec (who knew, but it was delicious), salami with fennel (addicting), whole seed mustard, Cornish pickles (that tasted like snapping into a Salt & Vinegar chip – YUMM-O!), with pickled onions & beets.
Course 2: Smoked mackerel with goat cheese & chives dip, beet puree dip, Dijon sauce, watercress and beet & olive tapenade sprinkled over top…AMAZING!
Course 3: Cilantro mousse with pickled, crispy onions in the center and then swirled around it was a carmelized shallot puree and then poured over top (in front of you) was THE most savory creamed mushroom soup I have ever had. I could have eaten three bowls of this it was so wonderful and I’m sure that when cold weather hits again, I’ll be craving it!
Course 4: Gnocchi that was topped with pork belly pancetta & it’s juices and then a few shavings of fresh pecorino romano cheese. I’m not a pork belly fan, but even I liked this & gnocchi has been a long-standing weakness of mine since I discovered it in an amazing dish at Alberini’s in Niles, OH.
Course 5: Two types of sausage – blood & vino en blanc, served with leeks, a zing-y mustard sauce and a date that was dehydrated and then re-hydrated with the juice of the sausages.
After all this food it was likely that I would explode or die from meat sweats, but I didn’t regret even one bite and have been craving it ever since. Literally, just talking about it or typing this right now makes me salivate for it. So needless to say this gets TWO THUMBS UP!! If you are ever in the Strip District or East Liberty area of Pittsburgh please, PLEASE do not pass up this opportunity…they take reservations!
Until Next Time,